Cliff Burton predicted Metallica's meteoric rise

A promotional picture of Cliff Burton
Cliff Burton (Image credit: Getty)

Cliff Burton predicted Metallica’s future huge success, according to his father Ray.

Ray Burton says his late son was always confident – although not cocky – about his abilities and Metallica’s chances of hitting the big time.

Reflecting on the 30th anniversary of Cliff’s death, Ray says the family still receive regular royalty payments and that his son was sure he’d be able to provide for his parents down the line.

Ray Burton tells The Metalsucks Podcast: “The royalties have been coming my way for quite some time. He could see things coming along, he felt that they were doing well.

“He told his mom and me, ‘I’m gonna buy you two a house when this thing gets going better.’ So he had an idea that the band was going to be a success. And boy, was it ever.”

On Cliff’s faith in his own ability, Ray adds: “Cliff knew he had talent, but he wasn’t cocky about it. But he felt the music that he was getting and playing with James and Kirk and Lars was pretty good, and he was quite satisfied with it.

“He said that he felt that if he couldn’t make a living with Metallica, he had enough talent to be a studio musician. So that’s a lot of confidence in your own ability. But at the same time, I heard him say several times, ‘There are a hundred kids out there in garages that play the guitar as well as I can.’

“That kind of thinking toward yourself also helps in everyday life. You have that confidence about your own abilities, and Cliff had a degree of confidence. But as I say, he wasn’t cocky about it in any sense of the word.”

Ray also says that he’s pleased to see Metallica still thriving three decades after his son’s tragic death.

“I admire James and Lars and Kirk for carrying on all of these years,” he says. “They’ve stayed together and have done a very good job of entertaining. They have done an absolutely magnificent job.”

The accident which claimed Burton’s life took place in Sweden on September 27, 1986.

Metallica’s 10th album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct is released on November 18 via the band’s own Blackened Recordings label. The band have a number of live dates to come in 2016 and 2017.

Metallica 2016⁄17 live dates

Oct 22: Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA
Oct 23: Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA
Oct 26: San Juan Coliseo De Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Oct 29: Quito Parque Bicentenario, Ecuador
Nov 01: Bogota Hipodromo De Los Andes, Columbia
Nov 03: Guatemala City Estadio Cementos Progreso, Guatemala
Nov 05: San Jose Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica
Mar 25-26: Lollapalooza Brasil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Lollapalooza Argentina
Apr 01-02: Lollapalooza Chile

Metallica Quiz: Cliff Burton

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.